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1910 Christy Mathewson Won In The Ninth Signed Presentation Edition
Starting Bid - $2,000, Sold For - $7,200
Rare 1910 special signed presentation hardcover first edition of Won In The Ninth (R. J. Bodmer Company, New York) by Christy Mathewson. This is the ultimate Christy Mathewson signed book, featuring a special bookplate signed by Mathewson affixed to the interior cover. Mathewson's signature, rendered in black fountain pen, grades "9." (There is slight mirroring of the signature on the front flyleaf as a result of the book having been closed before the ink fully dried.) The original recipient's typed name has long ago been erased from the book plate (only the title "Mr." is still legible), but the presentation number, “3," appears in the upper right corner. It is unknown exactly how many special presentation copies of this book Mathewson signed, but over the years many have speculated that the number is somewhere between 300 and 500. The fact that REA has handled two other examples numbered, respectively, "471" and "499" (which were the two highest-numbered copies, by far, that we have ever seen), appears to end the speculation and it now seems very likely that 500 was the limitation number. This example is the lowest-numbered copy we have ever seen. More important than the exact number of presentation copies signed by Mathewson is the fact that very few have survived. Won In The Ninth signed presentation editions have always been highly prized by collectors as it is the only title authored by Mathewson that features a photograph of him on the cover, making it ideal for display. The 298-page book of baseball fiction also has a special instructional section in the back. Over the years some collectors have questioned whether these limited-edition signed Won In The Ninth books were signed by someone other than Mathewson ("ghost-signed"). This volume is accompanied by a copy of a universally recognized authentic Christy Mathewson handwritten letter (one of the very few in existence) that is from an extraordinary original archive of correspondence to Cincinnati baseball promoter Daniel A. Fletcher (sold by Hunt Auctions in November 2011). Of special note is that this handwritten letter happens to date from the very same year as the signed Won In The Ninth editions (July 23, 1910). The accompanying copy of this relatively newly discovered letter is presented online as well for reference and speaks for itself. The book displays light scattered minor surface scratches on the front cover and both minor edge and corner wear, but is otherwise in Very Good to Excellent condition. Housed in a custom-made leather-bound solander case for optimum preservation. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $2,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $7,200
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